South River Falls Trail

MODERATE 169 reviews
#8 of 138 trails in

South River Falls Trail is a 4.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Stanardsville, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until June. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1325 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Directions from Front Royal, VA: Skyline Drive travels the entire length of Shenandoah National Park. Mile markers are placed along the right-hand side of the road heading south. They are numbered from north to south beginning at the northern terminus in Front Royal, Virginia. Facilities, trails and park features use the mile markers as points of reference. Park in the South River Picnic Area where the trail begins near the third parking area. The milepost is 62.8.

1 month ago

Beautiful hike! A little difficult on the way up, but I can’t complain about the views!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike!! We had a sunny crisp (35deg) day and it was perfect!

1 month ago

We hiked this on 2/27/18 and it’s a beautiful journey. I recently had major reconstructive foot surgery due to an injury back in October so I was a little worried and probably a lot crazy to to do this hike but I faired very well. I will say that though the description says kid friendly, in my opinion this trail is ok for older kids maybe 10 and up. I have a 11 year old daughter she wasn’t with us but I cannot imagine bringing younger kids on this trail. There are some tricky areas and the up hill journey back would entail lots of carrying or complaining from younger children. I don’t recommend his trail for children under 10 unless you plan on carrying them a lot. It’s a beautiful view once you get down to the falls. Would definitely go back.

hiking
2 months ago

The falls were epic after all the recent rain. Going down to the base is absolutely necessary. You won't be disappointed. The return is all uphill and it wore me out a bit, but not too bad. I did the loop with the fire road and part of the AT.

2 months ago

Would not recommend for kids under 12 who aren’t experienced. It’s all fine and dandy going down, but the whole return trip is uphill.

hiking
3 months ago

Lovely views and solitude during the winter. It’s an easy hike for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

3 months ago

Great trail to hike up close to the falls. Long downhill track in the beginning.

4 months ago

Nice moderate hike.

hiking
5 months ago

This is actually South River Falls Trail. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful hike!

6 months ago

Well worth going to the bottom of the falls. Going back up does suck. Def recommend taking the fire road back up. Would like to see the falls in the spring.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful hike-
Easy down but a bit of an uphill battle. Bring water!
Saw a rattlesnake with her babies-

hiking
7 months ago

Overall great trail. Make sure you go down to the base of the falls. We took our dog and he loved it. The way back up is relatively difficult unless your used to uphill hiking...it's a steady incline the whole way back. You could take the fire road as an alternative back route but I wouldn't recommend it- it's just an uphill gravel road as opposed to an uphill dirt path with streams and stuff to see.

hiking
7 months ago

7 months ago

My favorite hike thus far! You have a stream run by you the entire hike and an amazing view towards the end! Not your grandmother's hike coming back though!

hiking
8 months ago

I have to rate this as an OK trail. The trail is really rocky, the falls base is ankel high. Not what we expected. Once you hit the post marked as "Falls Base" follow the small narrow, rocky trail. it maybe a bit challenging for some but if you want to get to the falls this is where you need to go through. Some people mentioned walking on the edge of the stream but we followed the trail. Good Luck

hiking
9 months ago

A very good hike. Way harder on the way back. Almost 4.5 miles round trip to the waterfall and back. Bring plenty of water especially in the summer. Take your shoes off and step in the water, it will cool you off for sure.

hiking
9 months ago

Awesome trail! First time out hiking in that area and it didn't disappoint. The trail started getting busy on our way back to the parking lot. Getting over the rocks near the water fall would have been a slow single line once it got busier. Overall, solid trail and sights. Would do it again for sure!

10 months ago

Gorgeous hike. Highly recommend!! We had our 4 dogs with us. Everyone was so nice!

10 months ago

Great trail with excellent views of the falls.

hiking
11 months ago

Hiked down to the viewpoint then further down to the base of the falls. The hike is downhill majority of the way out and uphill the way back. Great hike. Definitely worth taking a dip in the water on a hot day.

hiking
Sunday, April 02, 2017

We hiked down from the picnic parking lot to the overlook. Then continue down from the overlook to the base of the falls. After a short rest we started back up the trail, but instead of taking same trail back we continue straight, an pass the falls overlook trial. The trial is a old road wide but at an up hill grade. The trail terminus is on Skyline Drive. Just turn left and you will see the sign for the picnic area, if you parked there you are done.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Slippery the day we went because Of the rain. Beautiful colors of the trees and moss. Got foggy and we couldn't see the waterfall very well. Took us 1:10 to walk to the waterfall viewing and back.

hiking
Monday, March 13, 2017

Beautiful. Going down to the waterfall is somewhat easy although you need to watch your footing at the rocky base of the waterfall and rock stairs going up to the waterfall. Heading back to the parking lot is where it gets tough. Very steady uphill on the fire road so good to take slow or take frequent breaks. You'll need it. Very well maintained (rocky/woody) paths. Easy stream crossing and not very muddy.

hiking
Monday, March 06, 2017

Just gorgeous. Got caught in a little rain and hail, but the rocky overhangs along the way kept us pretty dry. Overall a great mid-level hike. Made a loop via the fire road back.

hiking
Friday, February 10, 2017

Very pretty, moderate difficulty. Saw two bears and a rattlesnake! Falls are absolutely beautiful.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

This is very misleading. This is a photo of South River falls and the map is of the same. Looked for this actual trail. Ranger said to go to South River Overlook and cross road to fire road and go down. Went about a mile and never found so we ended up on the South River Falls trail and was amazing but a lot of folks were doing the same.

hiking
Sunday, November 06, 2016

I went at the worst possible time and the waterfall was none existent. It was summer and hadn't rained for awhile. I plan on doing this trail again. I drank my 3 liters of water by the half way point and was drenched in sweat. Definitely won't be going during the summer again.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Great hike. only went to overlook but that was enough for 1 day.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Great trail. Amazing fallls. Recommended to go all the way not to just the look out

Monday, October 17, 2016

Nice trail, wore me out going back up with my 2 year old. But, great hike to the over look and back only, didn't go further. Saw a bunch of deer, too!

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